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Halo 3 and NXE: HDD Install Causes Slower Loading Times ...


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#1 Xbox-Scene

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 10:15 PM

Halo 3 and NXE: HDD Install Causes Slower Loading Times ...
Posted by XanTium | November 19 16:15 EST | News Category: Xbox360
 
From bungie.net:


The "New Xbox Experience" was released today and one of the new features allows you to "install" your games to the HDD. While you still have to keep the original disc in the tray, installing to the HDD can make some games perform a little better while also putting a little less wear-and-tear on your DVD drive. However, this isn't to say that ALL games will see optimizations from being installed. In fact, in the case of Halo 3, the game will actually see increased loading times. Several websites have reported the results of tests to gauge how some games perform after being installed to the HDD for Halo 3 and their tests indicate that in some cases, the load times are significantly longer. Our own internal investigations have yielded similar results.

To help explain why this is the case I tapped our uber engineer and Chief Caching Officer, Mat Noguchi, to answer a few questions.


Full Story: bungie.net






#2 Devedander

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:20 PM

ACK... boggles the mind how that could happen... only thing I can think of is halo3 is built with HUGE continuous chunks of data that take advantage of the DVD read speed and the 5400rpm laptop drives can't keep up. I would never have expected that though...

#3 MilkyNL

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:26 PM

QUOTE(Devedander @ Nov 19 2008, 11:56 PM) View Post

ACK... boggles the mind how that could happen... only thing I can think of is halo3 is built with HUGE continuous chunks of data that take advantage of the DVD read speed and the 5400rpm laptop drives can't keep up. I would never have expected that though...

If you read the full story, you'll know the exact reason...


#4 Landlocked

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:30 PM

I don't know if this is the case, but they should enable the option to remove video intros and cut scenes from the game. That would save space and increase load times.

#5 johnnyrico

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:34 PM

then make them release an update to optimize it for HDD playing.


#6 riahc3

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:58 PM

I havent read the story but I call fake. Ill explain why it may load slower (its simple):

Disk fragmentation. With putting/removing movies, music, dashboard updates, etc data gets fragmentated. This also happened on Xbox 1 (even if most say it isnt possible because of the FATX file system) but wasn't as noticable (since there was no "content" for Xbox 1)


#7 C_Ripper

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:01 AM

QUOTE(riahc3 @ Nov 19 2008, 11:34 PM) View Post

I havent read the story but I call fake. Ill explain why it may load slower (its simple):

Disk fragmentation. With putting/removing movies, music, dashboard updates, etc data gets fragmentated. This also happened on Xbox 1 (even if most say it isnt possible because of the FATX file system) but wasn't as noticable (since there was no "content" for Xbox 1)


Fake what? Like was stated before, read the article. The reason for the longer load times is a very basic, straightforward concept.

#8 riahc3

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:03 AM

And it can be fixed:

Just a patch that checks if the maps are loaded in the cache. If it is, continue. If it isn't, load it.

#9 ir0nw0lf

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:12 AM

Can be fixed and if/will they fix it are certainly two different things. I don't personally see the incentive for them to fix this and have to spend the time/$$$/manhours on it. Now if it's a simple fix, I could see them doing it.

#10 dokworm

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:30 AM

Even a 'simple' fix has to be coded, the tested and approved then beta'd out and tested under various scenarios and any problems fixed, and then sent out. No patch is trivial, and can have unforseen circumstances.

Still I think they should try to fix it, and I think MS should keep their developers more in the loop!

#11 spinr34

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:34 AM

QUOTE(riahc3 @ Nov 19 2008, 04:39 PM) View Post

And it can be fixed:

Just a patch that checks if the maps are loaded in the cache. If it is, continue. If it isn't, load it.


the game does this now. if it didn't it would always load the maps. the issue is that the game doesn't know the difference between the dvd and the hdd. and copying from a device to the same device is fairly slow. especially dealing with a 5400 rpm hard drive. there is only one mechanical piece in a hard drive that can read/write data to the drive. so it has to read data into the hard drives cache (an onboard chip) then it has to write it back to another part of the drive. rinse and repeat. this is what causes the longer load times. if the game knew it was on the hard drive, then it wouldn't copy anything, it'd just load it. but checking cache doesn't do you any good in this case. and i agree that it isn't in bungie's best interest to patch this. also, since you have to have the game in the drive anyways, it isn't a big deal if they don't. you wouldn't gain much of a benefit anyway in load times.

#12 neoxalucard

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:36 AM

I have been play H3 just about everyday since I got it back in march. Today I have been playing H3 on my HD all day, I’m not experiencing these “longer load times” that bungie is complaining about. I’ve had about 7 er 8 matches in the last hour, it’s working great. If it is longer it certainly is not noticeable at all.

I wonder if there is more to this story than meets the eye…


#13 Flagg3

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:41 AM

QUOTE(ir0nw0lf @ Nov 19 2008, 07:48 PM) View Post

Can be fixed and if/will they fix it are certainly two different things. I don't personally see the incentive for them to fix this and have to spend the time/$$$/manhours on it. Now if it's a simple fix, I could see them doing it.


I'm no master coder, but I literally can't see how this is not a 10 minute fix.

Keep in mind, the game is ALREADY coded to NOT cache to the hard drive if the hard drive isn't present. The simple fact that Microsoft required all games to be coded this way makes a fix very easy to implement. Had the Xbox 360 always come with a HD standard, the fix would be much more complicated, as all games would expect the hard drive to be there, and would always cache files.

As the HD install is basically creating a virtual DVD, what the HD install SHOULD do is report back that there is no HD available for caching whenever a game is installed to the HD.

Game saves would be the exception, but this should also be a trivial fix as game saves are done via a separate method.

Ideally, this can be patched by Microsoft, and it ABSOLUTELY SHOULD BE. Anyone using HD install will be causing unnecessary wear and tear on their HD, and the last thing that Microsoft needs is to cause the console to become even more unreliable when the fix is so laughably simple.

Edited by Flagg3, 20 November 2008 - 12:43 AM.


#14 spinr34

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:24 AM

QUOTE(neoxalucard @ Nov 19 2008, 04:12 PM) View Post

I have been play H3 just about everyday since I got it back in march. Today I have been playing H3 on my HD all day, I’m not experiencing these “longer load times” that bungie is complaining about. I’ve had about 7 er 8 matches in the last hour, it’s working great. If it is longer it certainly is not noticeable at all.

I wonder if there is more to this story than meets the eye…


that's because the maps are already cached. you only get longer load times when the maps aren't cached and they have to copy hdd -> hdd.

#15 spinemangler

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:39 AM

QUOTE(neoxalucard @ Nov 19 2008, 08:12 PM) View Post

I have been play H3 just about everyday since I got it back in march. Today I have been playing H3 on my HD all day, I’m not experiencing these “longer load times” that bungie is complaining about. I’ve had about 7 er 8 matches in the last hour, it’s working great. If it is longer it certainly is not noticeable at all.

I wonder if there is more to this story than meets the eye…



This is from the article, which I am guessing was too long?

"The only difference in load times occurs when we copy a map that has not been cached to the utility partition or has been evicted from the utility partition because some other maps were run. Once a map has been cached, the time to load it will be identical to running Halo 3 off the DVD with a HDD."






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